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Monitoring Emergencies

From official sources (F.O.) and media (M.C.). It does not represent PAHO's official position.

Chile 4/16/2014

Valparaíso region. Wildfire update (12-16 April). 12,500 people have been affected, 943 people are in eight shelters, and 2,900 homes are destroyed. The fire is still active. Response: Six mobile health posts and a field clinic are providing medical attention in the affected areas. Vaccine administration continues via the mobile units. Mental health care is being provided in shelters and ophthalmology services are provided in two schools. (o.s: Ministerio de Salud, ONEMI,  Oficina de OPS en Chile)

Nicaragua 4/16/2014

Earthquake update (10-14 April). Total: 1,585 evacuees are in three shelters. 32 health facilities have cracks and 3,775 homes are damaged. Seismic activity continues. Response: Managua and Jinotepe hospitals reorganize emergency services for safety reasons; damage evaluation is in progress. Two hospitals in Chinandega and Managua relocate their patients and three field hospitals are set up as preventive measures. Seven medical brigades are deployed in five municipalities. Water quality is being monitored. Venezuela sent four seismic stations to reinforce the monitoring network. An extreme red alert on the national level continues to be in effect. (o.s: UNETE, INETER, Oficina de OPS en Nicaragua; m: El Nuevo Diario).

Colombia 4/16/2014

Atlántico department. Sabanalarga municipality. Strong winds caused damages to the roofs of 100 homes; there are no reports of health damages. Four municipalities experienced power outages. Local response, evaluation in progress. (El Espectador, Caracol).

Ecuador 4/16/2014

Esmeraldas province. Floods update in Quinindé (10-15 April). 338 people are affected, water and electricity services have been cut and 35 homes are destroyed. Crops have also been affected and it is difficult to access the affected area. Local response with national support. (o.s: SNGR)

Chile 4/16/2014

Valparaíso region. Wildfire update (12-16 April). 12,500 people have been affected, 943 people are in eight shelters, and 2,900 homes are destroyed. The fire is still active. Response: Six mobile health posts and a field clinic are providing medical attention in the affected areas. Vaccine administration continues via the mobile units. Mental health care is being provided in shelters and ophthalmology services are provided in two schools. (o.s: Ministerio de Salud, ONEMI,  Oficina de OPS en Chile)

Smart Hospitals Project to Improve Caribbean Facilities

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Caribbean countries will have safer, ecofriendly and disaster resilient hospitals. This will be achieved with the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO/WHO) Smart Hospitals initiative, which will support Caribbean countries in improving their health care facilities. 

The project is spearheaded by a team of Caribbean experts and will be piloted at the Georgetown Hospital in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Pogson Medical Centre in St. Kitts and Nevis. It is designed to establish an integrated approach to building and retrofitting health care facilities to ensure that they are environmentally friendly and disaster resilient.

According to PAHO’s Regional Advisor in the Area on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief, Dr. Dana Van Alphen, “the project will allow for the development of a ‘Smart Health Care Facilities Annex’ to accompany national building standards and codes and the development of the Smart Hospital Toolkit to guide the implementation of climate change mitigation measures in existing and proposed facilities. It also seeks to enhance national capacity to deliver climate smart health care facilities by providing training workshops, advice through the Disaster Mitigation Advisory Group (DIMAG) and supporting policy strengthening.”

Benefits of having Smart Hospitals

Speaking on the benefits of the project for Caribbean people, Dr. Van Alphen noted that the initiative would see cost savings on health care and utility bills, reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, improved air quality, enhanced physical access to hospitals, improved access to safe water and improved safety conditions.

She further noted that extensive research and site investigations have taken place at the Georgetown and Pogson Hospitals and these facilities have been assessed against a Smart Hospital Baseline Assessment Tool, designed specifically for this purpose.

This initiative follows and enhances the existing Safe Hospitals project, which advocates for hospitals to be built to ensure continued operation during disasters and that existing hospitals progressively improve their safety levels in this regard.

 

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